Fox anchor Shannon Bream makes historic Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ discrimination about the “eventual destruction of all-women's sports”

Bream exclusively quoted anti-LGBTQ advocates and questioned whether the decision was “judicial activism”

Shannon Bream

During her Wednesday coverage of the Supreme Court's June 15 ruling protecting LGBTQ workers from discrimination, Fox News anchor Shannon Bream -- part of the network’s purported “news”- side and its chief legal correspondent -- used right-wing framing and exclusively quoted anti-LGBTQ advocates who fearmongered about its supposed “far-reaching consequences," such as “an end to female-only sports.”

The segment was Bream’s most substantive report on the topic, and the network as a whole barely covered the historic decision on the day it was released. Bream previously covered it during two daytime reports, in which she quoted heavily from the court’s dissenting opinion, and during a short news update on her Fox evening news show on June 15. Bream has a cozy relationship with extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented a client in one of the cases in the court’s combined ruling. She has also previously misgendered Aimee Stephens, a trans woman and the plaintiff in that case, and frequently misgenders other transgender people. 

During the June 17 segment on Fox News @ Night, Bream framed the court’s decision solely around right-wing concerns and failed to provide any context from the court’s majority decision, a 6-3 ruling authored by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch. Introducing the segment, she quoted anti-LGBTQ activists Robert George and Ed Whelan, citing comments they made that asserted the decision -- about whether employers could fire someone for being LGBTQ -- would lead to the “destruction of all-women's sports.” Bream also shared a tweet from Daily Wire founder and anti-LGBTQ bigot Ben Shapiro as she asked her guest, Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino, whether the decision “is that bad for the right?” 

Responding to Bream, Severino similarly questioned whether women’s sports will exist “in 20 years” and pushed the debunked myth that trans women pose a threat to other women’s safety in locker rooms. The segment did include a guest who was supportive of the decision, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra; Bream questioned her about whether the decision was “judicial activism” and highlighted Justice Samuel Alito’s dissenting opinion calling the court’s decision “legislation.”

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Citation From the June 17, 2020, edition of Fox News' Fox News @ Night With Shannon Bream

SHANNON BREAM (HOST): Far-reaching consequences. Some social conservatives are voicing that concern tonight about Monday’s Supreme Court opinion defining sex under federal discrimination laws to include LGBTQ as a protected status. Princeton professor Robert George fears the, quote, “eventual destruction of all-women's sports,” while Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center foresees, quote, “an end to female-only sports." 


BREAM: OK, so this is what Ben Shapiro tweeted out about Justice Gorsuch’s opinion. He says, “The Gorsuch decision is not originalist in any way; he acknowledges as much. It is simply a bad, outcome-driven legal decision. And it throws religious liberty, free speech, and employment law into complete turmoil.” Carrie, is it that bad for the right?

CARRIE SEVERINO (JUDICIAL CRISIS NETWORK PRESIDENT): Yeah, unfortunately it leaves a whole lot of areas open. Justice Alito did a great job in his dissent of pointing out all the areas the court didn't want to deal with but that it’s going to have to in the future. From bathrooms and locker rooms, can biological men be required to be admitted to locker rooms, women's locker rooms, with all of the attendants’ safety concerns? Will there be such a thing as all-women's sports in 20 years if biological men are being permitted to compete alongside a biological women in what is truly an uneven playing field? Religious freedom, you know, do churches and religious schools have the ability to still control their hiring and require that their employees are abiding by the lifestyle that they advance with their own values? First Amendment free speech as well, and whether using different -- the wrong pronouns for someone would also then result in a prosecution for having an unwelcome work environment. 

So there’s all these questions. I predict it will take decades and a tsunami of litigation before this has worked out. It’s one of the many reasons that legislating this is the correct way to do it. This is not something the court should be doing, simply because the law is clear. It says “because of sex,” not because of sexual orientation. And when legislatures address these issues, they can make these compromises, take all of those concerns into consideration. The court just did this with one fell swoop and effectively changed that law itself when what should have happened is the legislatures should have been dealing with it and could have addressed this. 

BREAM: Well, and that’s what the dissenters both Justice Alito and Justice Kavanaugh, talked about. Justice Alito in his dissent said this, “There is only one word for what the court has done today: legislation. The document that the court releases is in the form of judicial opinion interpreting a statute, but that is deceptive.” I mean, Elizabeth, conservatives rail against judicial activism, and now they’re accusing one of their own, quote-unquote, “a GOP nominee,” of doing that.